Taking the pulse of the Indian medical electronics market
Emerginging technological innovations are changing the way healthcare is delivered around the world and in India. The outlook for the Indian medical electronics industry is indeed bright. However, while opportunities abound, the industry needs to leverage the tech advances and keep innovating to retain its competitive edge.
By the ComConnect Consulting research team
The Indian healthcare industry has become one of the country’s largest economic sectors, with regard to both employment and revenue. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare industry is expected to reach a turnover of US$ 280 billion by 2020.
In recent years, the rapid adoption of digital and other tech advances in healthcare has led to exciting new applications. This has created a huge demand for electronic components, devices and products that are used for medical purposes. Medical electronics technology has reinforced the existing healthcare infrastructure in various ways, right from digitising medical testing, diagnostics and therapeutic procedures to enhancing the reach of healthcare through telemedicine. India, as an emerging market, continues to be relevant in the global medical technologies space, not just from a market point of view, but also as a global hub for innovation and manufacturing.
A Global Market Insights study states that the global medical electronics market size was US$ 73.3 billion in 2018 and is set to exceed US$ 169 billion by 2020 (Figure 1) with an expected CAGR of 13 per cent from 2019 to 2025. The same study also indicates that the increasing preference for minimally invasive surgeries is going to boost the growth of this market, as the use of patient monitoring equipment and other diagnostic devices is quite high in such surgeries.
Technological advancements will also accelerate the industry’s growth over the coming years. Key medical electronics industry players continuously focus on integrating advanced technology into their devices to enable accurate and efficient diagnosis as well as treatment.
The increasing adoption of medical electronic devices in India will significantly boost the industry’s growth. Although the medical electronic devices are expensive, several government initiatives and favourable FDI policies will trigger the adoption of these devices among healthcare professionals. Currently, India is counted among the top 20 global medical devices markets and is the fourth largest in Asia, after Japan, China and South Korea.
Figure 1: Global medical electronics market forecast (Source: Global Market Insight)
According to a report jointly published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of India, the Indian medical devices market will grow to US$ 8.16 billion in 2020 at a CAGR of 16 per cent (Figure 2). However, stringent regulations enforced on the manufacturers of medical electronic devices will restrain the industry’s growth in the forthcoming years.
The medical electronics market ecosystem includes R&D institutions, component manufacturers, systems integrators, software service providers, distributors, marketing and sales firms, end users, and post-sales services providers.
Figure 2: The Indian medical devices market (Source: WHO)
Medical electronics products are categorised as invasive and non-invasive devices, which include a range of products for diagnostics, monitoring and treatment of various diseases and chronic health conditions. On the basis of components, the market is segmented into sensors, batteries, microcontrollers, microprocessors and displays.
The segmentation of the medical electronics market, based on product types (Figure 3), is as follows:
- Implantable cardioverter – defibrillators (ICDs)
- Implantable loop recorders (ILRs)
- Spinal cord stimulators
- Gastric electrical stimulators
- Imaging devices
- Patient monitoring devices/systems
- Handheld/portable homecare products
Based on applications, the medical electronics market can be segmented as follows:
By component type, this market can be categorised as follows:
- Memory devices
Figure 3: Medical electronics market, categorised based on product type
Diagnostic imaging is the largest segment within the Indian medical devices market. This segment alone is expected to earn revenues of US$ 2.47 billion in 2020. Other segments, including patient monitors, ECG machines, defibrillators, etc, are mainly electrical and electronic devices. These segments are jointly estimated to grow to a turnover of US$ 1.98 billion in 2020. The IV diagnostics market will reach US$ 0.82 billion (Rs 53.56 billion) in 2020.
|Medical electronics at a glance
Medical electronics deals with the design, implementation and use of electronic components, devices and equipment for medical or healthcare purposes. Typical applications of medical electronics include research, examination, diagnosis, treatment, assistance and care. The use of electronic equipment in the medical field for clinical and research purposes has increased tremendously in the past few years. The human body generates numerous signals that are highly relevant for diagnosis and therapy. These signals are collected from the body surface or from within, through electrodes of different sizes, shapes and types.Moreover, there are non-electrical body parameters like temperature, blood flow, blood pressure and respiratory functions that need to be routinely monitored. These parameters are converted into corresponding electric signals by various transducers, and this is where electronics plays a key role. Computers and microprocessors are today being used extensively in medical instruments that perform routine clinical measurements, particularly when data computing and processing are part of the measurement and diagnostic procedures.
The global medical electronics industry has achieved double-digit growth in recent years, and this growth trajectory is expected to continue owing to the rising incidence of chronic diseases, increased urbanisation, a growing elderly population and increased awareness about the latest technology solutions to save/augment lives and to rehabilitate patients.
Semiconductors play an important role in shaping the medical electronic devices market. Hence, this market offers a significant growth opportunity for semiconductor players. The performance of medical electronics devices relies on innovations from semiconductor players that lead to highly-integrated microchip designs. The use of semiconductors is critical across the industry, from power supplies to displays in medical equipment, and plays an integral part of most medical equipment — covering high-end imaging systems as well as small handheld devices. The role of semiconductor suppliers becomes more critical as medical equipment becomes more portable and smaller.
There is a growing demand for low cost systems, as the high price of most sophisticated hospital equipment available in India makes it unaffordable for rural markets or smaller hospitals. The significant growth in low cost wearable medical systems that wirelessly transmit a patient’s vital signs to doctors via cell phones or the Internet, as well as fitness monitors that are used as activity trackers, has led to an increase in demand for smarter and more efficient semiconductors.
The therapeutic segment in the medical electronics market is expected to witness significant growth during the next five years. With the increasing awareness about cardiovascular and neurological issues worldwide, demand for therapeutic devices such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillator devices and others is going to increase.
Table 2: Manufacturing potential in the Indian medical devices sector
The diagnostic segment has captured a considerable revenue share in 2018, and according to Global Market Insight, it is expected to achieve 13.1 per cent growth during the next five years. Increasing awareness about the benefits of early diagnosis is going to trigger the demand for better and more accurate diagnostic equipment. The increasing occurrence of genetic diseases will also propel the demand for relevant diagnostic devices.
Hospitals, specifically, with the huge demand for medical electronic devices related to cardiovascular diseases and respiratory infections among the geriatric population, accounted for 45.5 per cent of the global medical electronics market in 2018. This pace of growth is expected to continue and gain significant revenue share of the market during the next five years. The need for well-equipped public healthcare centres will propel this segment’s growth further.
Governments in developing countries, including India, are implementing certain initiatives to make superior quality medical facilities and services affordable to all, which will also foster growth in the coming years.
|IIPME — an interesting policy boost
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, government of India, have launched a collaborative project – the Industry Innovation Programme on Medical Electronics (IIPME).
The project’s goal is to fund a portfolio of India-led pilot projects targeting innovations in multi-disciplinary areas comprising electronics, engineering, medical devices, healthcare, software, algorithms and information technology, to help the medical electronics fraternity and to kickstart fast-paced research and development in this area. The idea is to provide funding support to applicants for testing their bold ideas, mentorship from various subject matter experts, networking platforms and an opportunity to scale up the technology. Under this project, support will be provided at the seed, early transition and transition to scale stages.Seed grants: This is to fund projects that are at the initial stages of the product development cycle. These awards do not require preliminary data and are meant to provide an opportunity to test particularly bold ideas. A grant up to ₹ 5 million for a period of 18 months can be provided in this category.Early transition: This category covers projects that have established the proof-of-concept and require incremental prototype innovations and validation. These awards are for small risk projects which are at the early stages of translational research. A mix of a grant and loan not exceeding ₹ 10 million over a period of 24 months can be provided in this category.Transition to scale: This includes projects that have already shown promising data on establishing the proof-of-concept and have generated enough validation data. Awards to these projects are conditional to a demonstration of detailed preliminary data and are meant to provide an opportunity to develop, refine, and rigorously test approaches that have previously shown promise in controlled or limited settings. A mix of a grant and loan for a period of 24-36 months is proposed. The project cost will be matched equally by government funds and those from the industry. (Source: http://www.birac.nic.in/)
Figure 4: Medical device manufacturing clusters across India (Source: www.makeinindia.com)
Making in India
WHO and the government of India have jointly evaluated factors such as import dependence, existing manufacturing capabilities and the share of the different segments in the overall medical devices market in India. That study identified certain segments as having high potential for investments in medical device manufacturing in India. These include diagnostic imaging, IV diagnostics, orthopaedics and prosthetics, and consumables (Table 2).
Over the years, various medical device clusters have emerged across the country. Some of the key states housing Indian and multinational medical device players are illustrated in Figure 4.